Excuse me while I gush. Coven, the latest offering from Toronto, Ontario’s hardcore outfit Die Hexe, is awesome from front to back. Obvious influences like Converge and Poison the Well shine through all over this thing. In fact, in terms of sonic comparison, You Come Before You is a pretty good one. This is a dense jungle of twisted rhythms and dissonant chords; naked and heavy, as much with emotional weight as instrumental weight. Seven songs, thirteen minutes, no fucking around.
The vocals grab you like they’re biting down hard on your ear drum and they don’t let go as they scream, “My forgiveness means nothing to you. Your redemption means nothing to me,” on the track “Tough Love.” That’s when it’s made clear that this record is about as emo as it gets, and not in the My Chemical Romance sense. There are real demons being exorcised through these songs.
“Unrest” opens with an instrumental tidal wave that pummels the listener’s shore and makes way for the urgent riffing on the aptly titled “Distress.” The metallic grind of the drums on this track actually evoke imagery of someone clawing at their own arms out of nerves. The slow burning title-track is the highlight in an already near perfect set of songs. Mostly instrumental but for a few cryptic whispers that sound like Thanos’ lackey in The Avengers; it’s lush in its simplicity. The ominous guitar work makes way for the closing song “Comanche” which is another short, sweet blast of heavy emotions.
The short length may or may not contribute to how much you enjoy this record, but I’ll be honest, I’ve listened to it like fourteen times in a row and I’m still discovering new things about it. Those who may be seeking a collection of punk rock love songs should steer clear, but if you enjoy serious hardcore with a penchant for candour, and an aversion to bullshit, Die Hexe may just be your new favourite band.
Written by Syd Ghan
*edited by Danielle Kenedy